Home Pastors Two pastors work together to help parents prepare for the first day of school

Two pastors work together to help parents prepare for the first day of school

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) — As parents prepare for the start of the school year, the cost of supplies has increased.

According to the National Retail Association, people will spend $37 billion on supplies, or about $864 per family.

“We didn’t know how we were going to do it,” said Shannon Mercer, a Cedar Rapids grandmother of 5. “We don’t have a car right now, and my daughter is a single mom who’s been sick and missed work.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices have risen 8.5% over the past year. Part of this increase includes necessary school supplies.

“This year has been difficult,” she said. “It’s been tough since the pandemic.”

It was a need that Pastor Dedric Roundtree of Beacon of Light and Pastor Roger Grandia of Westminster took up with the first “Back to School Jubilee”.

“I expect all food to go and all supplies to be picked up,” Roundtree said. “We want to make sure they all have everything they need for back to school.”

“We have seen a huge increase in food requirements,” Grandia said. “We don’t want them to choose between school and food.”

The two said the people who lived in the Wellington Heights neighborhood where they practice preaching the word of God did not make up a large part of either congregation, but said their mission was to uplift everyone around them.

“It was one of our ‘musts’,” Roundtree said. “We are supposed to watch over our community for those who are less fortunate.